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Gaza victims sue German government for ‘aiding genocide against Palestinians’

February 23, 2024 at 1:49 pm

Demonstrators gather at the Alexanderplatz Square and march through the city center to show solidarity with Palestinians and protest Israel’s ongoing attacks in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2024. [Halil Sağırkaya – Anadolu Agency]

Victims of months of Israel’s attacks on Gaza are filing a criminal complaint against top German government officials for supporting Israel’s war crimes and “genocide” against Palestinians, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We’re filing a criminal complaint against German government officials for the crime of aiding and abetting genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza by providing Israel with weapons and issuing related export permissions,” lawyers for the Gaza victims told a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, and Economy Minister Robert Habeck all stand accused of “complicity in the genocide in Gaza” by supporting Israel’s military offensive, and authorising the export of €326 million ($350 million) worth of weapons to Israel.

Nadija Samour, one of the lawyers who filed the criminal complaint with federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, south-western Germany, said: “Our governments in Europe have a legal obligation not to provide Israel any support in perpetrating the current genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. This has to stop and this is what we hope to achieve by going to court. This lawsuit sends a clear message to German officials: you cannot continue to remain accomplices of such crime without consequences. We want accountability.”

Samour said German law requires a ground for initial suspicion to start investigations on a potential crime being committed.

“The International Court of Justice’s interim ruling clearly showed that there is such ground for initial suspicion when it comes to the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” she stressed, referring to a 26 January ruling ordering Israel’s government to stop genocidal acts and take steps to ensure that civilians in Gaza get humanitarian assistance.

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